There’s two things that distinguish an inFAMOUS game from the onslaught of third-person, open world action titles that have flooded the market in recent years: truly satisfying superpowers, and the opportunity to use those powers for heroic ends, or downright villainous ones. With inFAMOUS: Second Son, those core concepts are still in place, but the arrival of next-gen hardware means both may be seeing significant upgrades.
In the latest preview video, fans can feast their eyes on not just another dose of beautiful-yet-violent neon combat, but a brief look at how the moral choices of the game will result in different, but not necessarily polar opposite story paths.
The developers at Sucker Punch have shown from the very beginning that Second Son may be one of the games PS4 owners turn to in order to show off the console’s graphical prowess, and this new video preview shows that is still the case. But one other aspect of the game that the team has alluded to is the dilemma of karma facing its hero, Delsin Rowe – a Conduit blessed with superpowers in a world that views them as terrifying.
The developers have made no secret that they’re putting the real world under the microscope, and challenging players to question their own assumptions about terror, terrorism, and the need for fear. That’s all well and good, but in the realm of video games, morality is often reduced to the simple question: do you want to be a paragon of virtue, or a monster? Generally, because there’s nothing in between.
But as this preview video shows, the developers might actually be softening those polar opposites. Choosing whether or not to “violently execute” a person who’s just doing their job isn’t exactly a realistic dilemma, but how lenient or angry will a player be when facing a character who is in the wrong? In Delsin’s case, that means deciding whether to alleviate his brother’s fears of Conduits, or cut alliances now that he possesses the same “affliction” his brother is quick to judge.
It’s difficult to know how indicative the cut-scenes are of the overall story, but the fact that both are acted out believably, with Delsin stopping short of being either a hero or villain is a strong sign. Again, this may just be a surface-level distinction, but it’s a good indication that the developers have taken the time to make the angry Delsin and the angelic one equally understandable.
With the preview comes new screenshots, so feast your eyes:
It’s easy to be optimistic about the game, since Sony has heaped a healthy amount of marketing on what remains one of their most anticipated console exclusives. But if the studio truly is looking to offer a more realistic game than ever before (part of the reason they placed it in Seattle, Sucker Punch’s hometown), it would be a welcome change to see them give players the choice between being unforgiving, as opposed to downright evil.
What are your hopes for Second Son? Is it the story, the superpowers, the moral consequences, or simply the chance to play another game exclusively developed for the PS4 that has you interested? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
inFAMOUS: Second Son releases March 21, 2014 for the PS4.
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